Articles | Volume 12, issue 15
Research article
06 Aug 2015
Research article |  | 06 Aug 2015

N2O fluxes from the littoral zone of a Chinese reservoir

M. Yang, X. M. Geng, J. Grace, Y. F. Jia, Y. Z. Liu, S. W. Jiao, L. L. Shi, C. Lu, Y. Zhou, and G. C. Lei

Abstract. There have been few studies of greenhouse gas emissions from reservoirs, despite the remarkable growth in the number of reservoirs in developing countries. We report a case study that focuses on the littoral zone of a major Chinese reservoir, where we established measurements of N2O fluxes using the static chamber technique at five different water levels (deep water, shallow water, seasonally flooded, control for seasonally flooded, and non-flooded). The "control for seasonal flooded" had similar vegetation to the "seasonally flooded" but was not actually flooded as it was on a higher piece of land. Seasonal, diurnal and spatial variations of N2O flux and environmental factors were monitored throughout the growing season which included a flood event during summer rains. The N2O flux ranged from −136.6 to 381.8 μg m−2 h−1 averaging 6.8 μg m−2 h−1. Seasonal and spatial variation was significant but diurnal variation was not. Non-flooded dry land emitted more N2O than flooded land, no matter whether it was permanently or seasonally flooded. Piecewise correlation was found between N2O flux, air temperature and soil nitrate concentration. Positive correlation was shown between N2O flux and dissolved oxygen in water. There were significantly higher emissions from farmland. We compared these results with our recently published study of CH4 emissions, carried out simultaneously at the same site as those in the present study. Completely different patterns between the two gases are demonstrated. We conclude that the littoral zone is a hotspot for N2O emissions in the summer, especially when the shores of the lake are used for the farming of maize. But in terms of the overall greenhouse gas budget, the fluxes of N2O are not as important as those of CH4.

Final-revised paper